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Questions and Answers

Honda Accord ABS Light

Q. I have a 1997 Honda Accord EX 4-door with 60,000 miles. I had all four brakes replaced June 2001. At that time I had approximately 48,000 miles. When I left the auto shop, the ABS light came on. The next day I returned and asked them what the problem was.

They said they didn't know, but added fluid to the brake system under the hood. They said that it could be the ABS system and it could be very expensive to repair. The light went out and I drove away. Two blocks later the light came on again. I returned to the shop for the next two months to add the fluid and the same thing occurred over and over.

I have stopped adding the brake fluid. From November to about February 2002, the light did not come on. After that it came on and has stayed on pretty consistently. Today when I start the car, I can hear a hum (the pump trying to accelerate). After 10-15 seconds, the light comes on and stays on until the motor is turned off. I understand that diagnostics could cost from $80.00 on up.

Question: If I do not have it repaired, I understand that I do not have non-lock/non-skid brake system but a normal braking system. Does it do any other damage to my car? What are the consequences if I do not have it repaired?

Thank you...

A. I'm not so concerned that the ABS system won't be working. What does concern me is that they added brake fluid for two months. Didn't they wonder where all that brake fluid was going? I would want to have the system looked at to make absolutely sure there are no leaks.

You are correct, without the ABS system in proper operating condition you will have standard power brakes. It won't hurt anything if you leave them that way, but I would have it checked anyway. It could be simply a disconnected wheel sensor. After all, they did replace the brakes and could have not completely plugged in a connector.

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